Secretary Pompeo: Beijing’s Hong Kong law “an affront to all nations.”
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While the United Nations and the European governments are falling over each other to condemn Israel over its proposed plan to apply sovereignty to Judea and Samaria, a region that constitutes the historic Jewish heartland, Communist China is cracking down on Hong Kong residents, empowered by a new draconian security law which came into effect on Tuesday midnight.
“Thousands of people gathered in Hong Kong on July 1, 2020, expressing anger over Beijing’s national security law for the city,” Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post reported.
Beijing-controlled police “arrested more than 300 people on Wednesday as protesters took to the streets in defiance of sweeping security legislation introduced by China to snuff out dissent,” Reuters news agency confirmed.
The so-called National Security Law was passed by the Chinese Communist Party-controlled National People’s Congress without consulting the Hong Kong legislators, a violation of its constitution agreed when the territory came under Beijing’s control in July 1997. China is creating a new security apparatus in the region to apply the law. The crackdown coincides with the 23rd anniversary of Britain handing over of Hong Kong to Communist China.
The South China Morning Post covered the protests against the new Chinese security law:
Thousands of people gathered in Hong Kong on Wednesday in anger over Beijing’s national security law, as the city marked 23 years since its handover from British to Chinese rule.
On the first full day of the legislation being in force in Hong Kong, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor held a press briefing, admitting the civil unrest that had rocked the city for months last year was sparked by past failures, and saying that the national security law showed ‘Beijing’s confidence’ in the city.
In Causeway Bay, police raised a new flag warning crowds they were violating the freshly minted law, but campaigners still gathered in defiance of a ban on the annual July 1 march. By evening the force made more than 300 arrests, some under the new legislation.
Hong Kong residents could be deported to Mainland China and face life imprisonment if found guilty under its provisions.
The “law empowers Beijing to bring into Hong Kong many of the methods that mainland Chinese agencies use for policing activities that challenge Communist Party rule,” the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday called the Beijing’s law “an affront to all nations” and that Washington was taking steps to revoke the special trade status granted to Hong Kong.
“The United States is deeply concerned about the law’s sweeping provisions and the safety of everyone living in the territory, including Americans,” he said.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urged Hong Kong-based American companies to “rethink” their commercial relationship with the Chinese-controlled region.
“I believe that there’s a good chance that all companies who have Hong Kong as their headquarters for Asia will begin to rethink whether the new rules – the new relationship between Hong Kong and mainland China – whether those rules let Hong Kong be as favorable a place to have headquarters as it used to be,” the U.S. Commerce Secretary said on Wednesday.
In a related development, the U.S. Defense Department issued a list of 20 U.S.-based Chinese companies linked to China’s military. With China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) involved in an armed conflict with neighboring India and its recent threats to Japan and Taiwan, Beijing’s growing clout in critical sectors of the U.S. economy is of grave concern. The list includes the telecommunications giant Huawei.
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